No breeze or wind. A calm air, neither cold nor hot. A deafening silence reigns around the young man on the floor. Nate opens his eyes to be greeted by a vast land and a grey sky. He gets up and frowns, the surroundings have nothing to do with Moon City. Instead of large buildings and cafés, there are strange looking houses, the shape of long silver tubes. On every black round door there is a mark, so large it can be seen from far. Rings, just like the ones that attracted him back in the shopping center. A simple round jewel draw on each door represented the identity and the power of the Silver people.
As he starts walking, a strong light burdens him and he looks around to see where it’s coming from but he finds nothing. Nate keeps walking but at each step the light surges right in front of his eyes. It comes from below, so he looks down and gasps when he realizes the blinding luminous ray is a mark around his index finger. Shaped as a ring, it emits a strong light that helps him see everything on his way even in such a dark weather.
Not long after, Nate arrives in front of a palace which made him quite surprised by its unusual aspect. From below, it’s just a regular building built with silver bricks but the upper part has an extravagant architecture. A very large silver ring commands from above, glowing like a halo on an angel’s head. The mark’s light guides the young man through the palace’s gates.
Few seconds after he’s walking on a marble floor, large statues are towering him while he tries to find his way to the main hall. He hears a sound and his heart skips a beat when he sees one of the statues moving. He runs away from it and finds himself next to another mobile silver body. Nate stands in the middle of the marble floor, watching the men and women looking statues move lazily their arms. His idea of escape changes when he understands they’re no danger to him, in fact they’re trying to help him. Their silver arms move together, pointing at the same direction.
“Oh, so I’m supposed to go from there?” he asks them shyly, mentally laughing at himself because he just talked to statues.
One of them nods which makes him chuckle. “Thank you.” he says and before he leaves the corridor, they bow to him in unison making him freeze for a moment, looking at each them with wide and confused eyes.
Nate clears his throat and take the direction they showed him. His steps echo in the hallways, there are portraits hung on the large wall, each of them representing a man or woman dressed in grey jackets decorated with badges. His eyes stop in front of the painting of a very familiar person. Nate keeps looking for a moment, studying the woman’s features, her long black hair and shiny grey eyes. Something about her reminds him of his own self, the same small nose and oval shaped face. Then it hits him, she was the woman who appeared in his vision back then when he found the book. His mother.
Steps interrupt his moment, he turns around and finds a man with long brown hair arranged in a ponytail standing at the end of the hallway. He can tell that he’s been living long judging from the wrinkles on his hands. His face looks younger, the right cheek is covered in silver highlighting the bright color of his eyes. “Your Highness.” he speaks with a gentle voice as he bows to the young man. “If that is not a big day.” he gives him a smile which he receives back immediately.
“Hello.” Nate smiles awkwardly. “I...I’m sorry for intruding.”
The man laughs and approaches him, “This is your home, my prince. How can you say that?” he stands in front of him and widens his eyes as he takes a look at him, “You have grown very tall, your Highness!” he exclaims. “Your father will be surprised.”
“My father is here?” Nate gulps.
The brown haired nods, “Of course, he is waiting for you in the crown room.”
“How does he know that I’m here?” the young man frowns.
“The statues.” answers the stranger. “They conveyed the message to their king.” he smiles. “You probably do not remember anything, so I shall introduce myself. I am Clarus, the Commander of the Silver Knights and the King’s right hand.” Clarus bows again. “We used to play a lot when you were a child.”
Nate smiles and follows the man to the end of the corridors, they entered a large room surrounded with gigantic silver statues and more portraits. The black and white marble floor gives a certain brightness to the space. Nate’s heart skips a beat when he spots a large shouldered man looking from the window. A crown rests on his black hair, the same color as the silver uniform he’s wearing.
“Your Majesty.” Clarus stands in the middle of the room and bows to the King who doesn’t waste a time to turn around and walk toward the newcomer. “Nesterin!” he exclaims with a wide smile when he finally sees his son in front of his, safe and sound.
“Father.” Nate widens his eyes as he watches the man approach him. “I...I am back.”
“And I am so happy that you are.” the King takes his son in his arms and embraces him warmly. “You don’t know how much I have been waiting for this moment.” he holds Nate’s face in his rough hands and looks at him with teary eyes. “You look just like her.”
“That is exactly what I thought, your Majesty.” says Clarus. “He looks so much like late Queen Yaereene, may the Silver guard her soul.”
Prince Nesterin looks at his father and his heart breaks because no memory of them together comes to his mind. He wishes he could finally remember every single second spent with his parents, he wants to know that he was once happy and surrounded by people who loved him.
“My son, join me for lunch.” says King Ehrendil. “There are many things we need to talk about.”
The other side of the Diamond Castle different from the main hall. Queen Ashryn finds herself surprised by the vivacity created by her people in this part of her large house. When she arrived, she was welcomed by silence and chilly hallways but the scenery in front of her right now makes a smile appear on her face. Children dressed in blue robes are running, playing together while shouting and laughing loud. Women in simple dresses are walking in the corridors or chatting around a tea table, some men join them and others are polishing the blue gemstones with the help of old ladies. Ashryn sees the food placed on the tables; baskets of fruits and dates. “Lord Evindal.” she turns to the Royal Counselor, “I would really love to thank the Prince who helped our people.”
The white haired man smiles and nods, “I am sure you will meet him someday and thanks him properly.”
The young woman arrived to her kingdom as Ashley, a psychology student dressed in pants and and old t-shirt, but now she is standing as Ashryn, the Queen of the Diamond Kingdom dressed in nocturne blue pants and long tunique shining as bright as her eyes. People turn to look at her, wondering who she is and she came from. Some of them recognize her parents on her face and immediately stop whatever they’re doing to come and greet her.
“She is the Queen!” the young woman hears whispers around and all eyes rest on her to make her even more uncomfortable. Children approach her and offer her diamonds which she accepts with a warm smile. She caresses their grey and white hairs, thanking them for their kindness.”
Lord Evindal clears his throat and encourages her to say something to the people staring at her silently. Ashryn presses her lips and looks at each of them and it aches her to see that no matter the hardships they suffered from, there is still hope on their faces. None of them shows any feeling of sadness or broken heart, all of them are standing confidently, waiting for their queen to say her first words.
Ashryn joins her hands nervously and tries to give them her best smile. “Hello, dear people.” the young woman mentally curses at herself for sounding ridiculous. As he memories are still erased, she can’t recall the royal etiquette she must have learned since she was a child. The Queen has no idea on how she should speak to her people so she just helps herself by remembering some scenes from movies she’s watched before. “As you may have already understood, I am Ashryn, daughter of Aywin and Kilyn, your humble Queen.” she bows to them and all of them join her rapidly. “I may not remember anything from the past, I wasn’t there when all the horrible things were done to the kingdom, but I must tell you that it aches me awfully to know that our homes were destroyed, our children deprived from their childhood, our lands occupied by our enemies and our lives turned upside down.” she marks a pause to look straight at her people’s eyes. She copies them and stands as confident and fearless as them all. “I don’t know who Mávros is, I don’t know anything about this kingdom. I can’t fight, I can’t even speak properly to you. But I, as your Queen, will raise my head high and face whoever our enemy is. I, just like you, an inhabitant of this kingdom, will get back what was taken from all of us.” she ends, her thoughts filled with her parents’ faces.
“May the diamond bless our kingdom!” people shout in unison, men, women and children together. Ashryn stands before them, feeling goosebumps, her heart beating as loud as their voices. She looks at them surprised, astonished, amazed. They have suffered and yet they still have fire in their eyes. Lord Evindal looks at her proudly and gives her a nod. The young Queen stares at her people and adds in a courageous tone, “Let’s join our hands and make our kingdom worthy of its title!”